CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES' OFFICE

Callison PublicationsCharles Callison"Look, Preston, you signed a contract that gives me publication rights to Conflict," Charles stated firmly as he began to feel his blood pressure rise.  "You are not getting out of it!  You will turn over that manuscript and you better do it soon!"

"As I've said, I've reviewed my contract and it is not satisfactory."  Thornton maintained a calm demeanor as he walked around the office.  "I expect to be released from it without hesitation.  Callison Publications will not receive The Manhattan Conflict."

"Well, Mr. Preston," Douglas spoke up, "if you'd just tell us what parts of your contract don't agree with you, maybe we can work something out that would be in everyone's best interests."

Thornton Preston"Any association with Callison Publications would not be in my best interest!"  Finally, Thornton was allowing his own temper to get the better of him.  "I demand to be released from this contract.  It would be in your best interest to do so because I am not finishing The Manhattan Conflict and I am not turning it over to you!"

"You signed that contract with a promise to give us publication rights to your next novel!"  Charles rose from his desk and carefully approached Thornton.  "That was supposed to be Conflict, but if you have no intention of finishing that book, we'll take possession of your next novel!"

Annabelle Lake"I do not think so!  I refuse to honor this sham of a contract!"

"You listen to me, Thornton, if you back out on this contract, I'll see you in court!"  Charles was now nose to nose with Thornton.  The tension in the air was thick as Douglas and Annabelle silently wondered about the futility of it all.

"I don't know why I'm surprised that your being so adamant about this."  Thornton willed himself back to displaying a calm exterior.  "I'm sure any publishing house with any quality whatsoever would want to keep an author of my caliber and reputation under lock and key."

"Seems like a reputation of being arrogant and difficult," Annabelle muttered under her breath in an aside to Douglas.

Douglas Davis"I suspected this would happen.  That's why I'm prepared to remain in Albanyville until you come to your senses and give me what I want."  Thornton promptly turned and headed for the door.  "I'm renting the Springhill estate out by Spring Lake.  When you change your mind, you can contact me there.  For now, however, this meeting is over."  With those words, he walked calmly, yet briskly, out of the office leaving Charles to fume over this continuing business crisis.


THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE

The Wishing Well Soda ShoppePatterson Monroe"I've just got to get something to eat before Anatomy class," Patterson muttered as he walked through the doors of the restaurant.  "If I don't, I just know Professor Harding is gonna put me to sleep."  As he approached the counter, he looked up to see Stephanie and Clark sitting together in a back booth.  He watched them closely and grew uncomfortable as they laughed and flirted with one another.  He quickly turned away in hopes of not being seen.

"Patterson!" Stephanie called out as she waved to him from across the room.

"Oh, well," he muttered as he let out a deep sigh and crossed over to them.  "Hello, Steph, Clark, how's everything going today?"  He looked at the couple closely and saw how Clark had his arm wrapped tightly around her and she was lightly playing with his hair.

"Every one of my days had been perfect since I met this beautiful girl," Clark exclaimed as he turned to smile at Stephanie.

Stephanie Lake"Oh, Clark!" she giggled before lowering her head in mock modesty.  "Paddy, isn't he just the sweetest thing?  I never thought I could be as happy as I am right now.  Clark, you've been so good for me."

"No, Stephanie, I think it's the other way around!" He leaned in and kissed her lightly on the cheek.  "You have been so good for me!  I don't think I could ever have as much fun as I have when I'm with you."

"So, I take it things are going well between you two," Patterson muttered dryly.  He eyed Clark closely as the other man smiled warmly at Stephanie and whispered something Patterson couldn't hear into Stephanie's ear.  Patterson felt his face burn slightly as Stephanie giggled at whatever had been said.

Clark Saxon"Clark says the most romantic things," Stephanie said as she looked up at Patterson and giggled again.

"Now, I hate to do this, but I've got to get to class."  Clark pulled himself away from Stephanie and began to gather up his books.  "Statistics class awaits!"  He leaned in to give Stephanie another quick kiss.  "I'll talk to you later, sweetie."

Stephanie's eyes followed Clark as he walked out of the restaurant and she turned to again face Patterson.  She immediately noticed his cool demeanor.  "Okay, Paddy, what's up?  You read like a book.  Sit down here and tell me what's going on."

"Nothing's wrong," he replied as he slid into the booth beside her.  "I-I just don't know if I trust this Clark guy.  There's something about him I don't like."

"You know, Paddy, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were jealous."  Stephanie leaned in an sipped her soda as she carefully watched for his reaction.

"Jealous?"  Patterson's eyes grew wide with shock at her comment.  There was absolutely no way he could be jealous.  "What are you talking about?  What would I be jealous of?"

"Of Clark, silly," she laughed.  "Every time you see us together, you get this stupid little look on your face.  You get all flushed and flustered."  She looked at him closely.  "Kind of like you are now."

"I am not jealous!" He said firmly as he slammed his fist down on the table.  He folded his arms across his chest defiantly and he silently fumed.  What in the world could she be thinking?  Of course he wasn't jealous.  Was he?


BAILY PARK

Grace DavisBaily Park"So, Janet, how long have you lived in Albanyville?" Grace asked as she looked at her earnestly.

"Well, actually, I don't," Janet laughed in response.  "I'm really just visiting my sister Jillian."

"Jillian?  Jillian Stokes?"  Grace looked at her closely.  She did look familiar.  "Of course!  I remember seeing you at the engagement party."

"You were there?"

"Yes, I went with Reginald's brother Trevor."

"My, it's a small world."  Janet smiled as she sat her painting aside to chat with Grace.  "I'd only come to town for a few weeks to visit Jillian, but I've decided to extend my stay.  What with everything going on at the party, we really didn't have much of a chance to actually visit the last time I was here."

Janet Stokes"So, um, what were you talking about when you said that you knew what I meant about having a family with a horrible past?"  Grace watched Janet and was quick to notice her nervous reaction.  She began to feel guilty that she was the one now prying.

"I, um," Janet stammered awkwardly.  "Well, my sister Judith is far from being a saint and then there's Father's whole attitude concerning Reginald and Jillian."  She quickly turned away to hide the pained expression that was covering her face.  Silently, her mind drifted to another time.  It was time long ago when nothing was right in the world...

"Please let me out of here?" Janet cried out as she banged on the steel door.  "Please?  I don't belong in here!"  Her body shook as she crumpled to the floor.  She wrapped her arms around herself and began to sob.  "I didn't do anything!  Please, someone help me."

"Janet?" Grace spoke up as she tapped her lightly on the shoulder.  "Janet, are you alright?"

"Oh...oh, yes, I'm fine," Janet forced a smile as she turned back to face Grace.  "Everything is just fine."



 


TOMORROW

Reginald and Jillian cross paths with Dane and Sara.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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